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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . .

Page.. 3440..


to Hong Kong and China, their level of awareness of Canberra has increased. Even unfamiliar or unsympathetic media outlets have engaged in the discussion. It really is a good sign to have so many people talking about our city. The mix of commentary reflects a dynamism and debate we should never be scared to encourage.

Achievements like this help all Canberrans express the pride we feel for our city. It is important for the government, for business, for education, arts, tourism and other sectors to help capitalise on the momentum of this achievement. The city's new status is also a hugely valuable tool for our diplomatic efforts overseas, building on Canberra's prestige as national capital with these incredible facts about its wonderful quality of life.

The criteria of the OECD report confirm the importance of the government's key priorities, particularly our budgetary priorities in moving the city into the future. Livability lies at the core of our priorities, not only as an objective for our quality of life but as economic advantage and an indicator of Canberra's readiness for future growth and prosperity.

As Dr Bourke's motion requests, we will continue with these priorities and investments in health, education, public transport and other services, fairness—including for the Mr Fluffy home owners and residents—and opportunity for all. Our overarching vision is for a strong, diverse economy, one that provides jobs, attracts investment and underpins the wellbeing of our community, and we will continue to invest in strategies that promote the diversification of our economic base. We are boosting our infrastructure program and we are taking the steps needed to foster and strengthen our local industries.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Racing and Gaming, Minister for Women and Minister for the Arts) (11.59): I join my colleagues in this room in celebrating Canberra as the most livable city. As Canberrans, we all know what a great city it is.

This OECD report is the latest in a growing number that talk about how well this city measures up. The OECD better life initiative has confirmed Canberra as the most livable city, for the second year. It is important to acknowledge that these achievements and the success of Canberrans have not happened by accident. They have happened because of those with the ability to imagine a better future, to make that future happen and to push back the dead hand of those whose vision for the future is an endless rerun of the past.

We are a community that understands the importance of ensuring that all Canberrans thrive. We understand the importance of different cultures and faiths, and that our individual stories are part of a greater whole.

In education, our investments in education, from early childhood through to vocational education and training and university, reflect our commitment to providing families with the highest quality education. The report ranked education as receiving 9.10 out of a score of 10. In the 2014-15 budget the ACT invested $940 million in our


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